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Human Data Science (HDS)


4 October 2018
15:00 - 16:00
Sjoerd Groenmangebouw B1.09

Discussion on Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age

Thursday 04/10/2018 at 15:00 in room B1.09


Our next meeting will be a joint meeting of the MSDSlab Group and the Survey Group of the Statistics and Methodology Department. This time, Bella Struminskaya will be talking about a book by Matthew Salganik “Bit by Bit: Social Research for the Digital Age”. As the author himself puts it, “it is for social scientists who want to do more data science and data scientists who want to do more social science.”  The premise that is becoming rather wide-spread is that social scientists generally have been poorly equipped to handle large complex data,  while computer scientists who are well-equipped to handle the data could benefit more from the learning the foundations of research methods and social theories.

We will discuss the general topics covered in the book: challenges and opportunities of big data, what lessons from the survey methodology can be applied, need for collaborations, as well as issues that need to be considered such as ethics of doing research with new types of data (e.g., digital trace data). Our idea is to use the book’s messages to start a discussion on the intersections of big-data / social science, identify topics not covered in the book that deserve attention, and discuss possible collaboration opportunities (internal and external).

Preparation and Book:

You are not expected to read the book, but if you want to browse through it drop Bella a note.  It is very comprehensive in case some of you want to use it for teaching. The book is also freely available to read online and there are an array of teaching materials provided.